Congress Passes Schiavo Measure

Bush Signs Bill Giving U.S. Courts Jurisdiction In Case of Fla. Woman

Congress gave jurisdiction over a brain-damaged Florida woman's case to federal courts early today, an extraordinary legislative move that could empower a U.S. judge to order the reinsertion of a feeding tube that a state court allowed to be removed Friday.

Voting 203 to 58 at 12:42 a.m., the House joined the Senate in approving the measure and rushing it to President Bush. He signed the bill into law at 1:22 a.m., saying, "I will continue to stand on the side of those defending life for all Americans, including those with disabilities."

I'm hoping that our House of Representatives was just temporarily drunk. As George Bernard Shaw once said: "Alcohol is a very necessary article. It enables Parliament to do things at eleven at night that no sane person would do at eleven in the morning." However, I'm afraid they were actually sober. [Click the link below to keep reading . . . . ]

With their votes and signature, the Republican-controlled Congress and president wrote another chapter in an emotionally charged saga that has divided the patient's family and many other Americans over right-to-die questions. . . .

[T]he legislation requires a federal judge, upon the family's request, to launch a new inquiry into the legal and medical questions surrounding Schiavo, who suffered a severe loss of oxygen to her brain when her heart temporarily stopped 15 years ago.

Let's hope the poor federal judge into whose lap this mess falls has more sense than either house of congress, and puts an end to this 15 year nightmare. According to every medical professional who has actually examined her, Terri Schiavo has NO cerebral cortex and, therefore, NO hope of ever recovering consciousness. From the Second District Court in Florida:

Over the span of this last decade, Theresa's brain has deteriorated because of the lack of oxygen it suffered at the time of the heart attack. By mid 1996, the CAT scans of her brain showed a severely abnormal structure. At this point, much of her cerebral cortex is simply gone and has been replaced by cerebral spinal fluid. Medicine cannot cure this condition. Unless an act of God, a true miracle, were to recreate her brain, Theresa will always remain in an unconscious, reflexive state, totally dependent upon others to feed her and care for her most private needs.

What part of this do people fail to understand? Theresa Schiavo no longer exists, and hasn't for 15 years. What remains is just a biomass that may have once contained her "soul." Even assuming that it once did, it doesn't any longer.

Details here from the Washington Post.

PS - This whole saga is just a disgusting political charade. The evangelicals have glommed on to the case because they can't be seen to give an inch on the "right to life" issue. The Republicans have glommed on because they can't be seen not fully supporting the evangelicals, who elected them.

Meanwhile, the whole framework of the separation of powers is thrown into question.

I ask you:

What most concerns Tom Delay and his Republican cronies?

1) Is it the Constitutional framework of our government, and its continued health and viability? Such as the separation of church and state? The limited power of the legislature, and the separate power of the judiciary?

2) Is it deflecting public attention away from the personal transgressions of Tom Delay?

3) Could it be the diversion of public attention from Republican/neo-con goals such as drilling for oil in Alaska? Bankrupting Social Security? Enabling mercury pollution from coal burning power plants and smelters? Packing the Supreme Court with conservative ideologues? Profiting from the war in Iraq? Perhaps?

They sure have us focused elsewhere, don't they?